Monday, 16 June 2008
The Art of Art: Stephen Wiltshire - Architectural Artist
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
You have five yards of paper, a fistful of black felt-tips and three days to produce a minutely perfect architect-quality drawing of Rome, down to the right number of columns on the Colosseum:
And you have to draw it from memory.
And your only exposure to Rome was the 45-minute helicopter ride over it just before you start your drawing.
Yes, there is someone on this planet who can do it: Stephen Wiltshire.
Stephen Wiltshire was born in London on 24th April, 1974. As a child, Stephen was mute and did not relate to other human beings. Aged three, he was diagnosed as autistic. He had no language, uncontrolled tantrums and lived entirely in his own world.
At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London, a school for children with special needs, where it was noticed that the only pastime he enjoyed was drawing. It soon became apparent he communicated with the world through the language of drawing.
The teachers at Queensmill School later encouraged him to speak by temporarily taking away his art supplies so that he would be forced to ask for them. Stephen responded by making sounds and eventually uttered his first word - "paper." He learned to speak fully at the age of nine.
Today Stephen has become a professional architectural artist with his truly astounding abilities. His website can be visited here: